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Bennett writes: "President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he has ordered FEMA to withhold funds from California's state government until officials there 'get their act together' fighting forest fires. But he tweeted he thinks that is 'unlikely.'"

California wildfires. (photo: Getty)
California wildfires. (photo: Getty)

Trump Cuts Off Federal Funds to California to Fight 'Forrest Fires'

By John T. Bennett, Roll Call

09 January 19

‘Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely,’ president tweets

resident Donald Trump on Wednesday said he has ordered FEMA to withhold funds from California’s state government until officials there “get their act together” fighting forest fires. But he tweeted he thinks that is “unlikely.”

The president long has criticized California state officials, sometimes with dubious claims, over wildfires there and their steps to prevent and nix them. But stopping the flow of federal funds is an escalation of the feud, and one that might raise the ire of lawmakers — even the sizable House GOP delegation from the Golden State.

“Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forrest fires that, with proper Forrest Management, would never happen,” the president tweeted, twice misspelling forest.

“Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money,” Trump wrote, adding: “It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!”

Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forrest fires that, with proper Forrest Management, would never happen. Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2019

Trump appeared at the same time concerned for California residents in the path of the fires’ wrath and unconcerned that cutting off the FEMA aid might put more people at risk of injury, death or losing their homes.

One potentially interested lawmaker is House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy; a spokeswoman has not responded to a request seeking a comment from him.

Last April, Trump falsely stated that the California government is diverting river water into the Pacific Ocean that could be used to fight forest fires, but he also signaled he would fast-track federal help.

Over two consecutive days, the president took to Twitter to contend the administration of Democrat Jerry Brown, then the state’s governor, was sending water from “the North” into the Pacific Ocean. Trump contended Monday that water could be used for “fires, farming and everything else.”

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has been puzzled by the claims from the president.

I’m not sure what he was recommending,” University of California, Merced professor LeRoy Westerling told the San Francisco Chronicle in April. “Even if we eliminated all habitat for riparian species and fish, and allowed saltwater intrusion into the delta and set up a sprinkler system over the state, that wouldn’t compensate for greater moisture loss from climate change.”

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+7 # dotlady 2019-01-10 00:01
Satirist Andy Borowitz couldn't do any better than this story.
+6 # lfeuille 2019-01-10 00:09
He has to go now.
+4 # ddd-rrr 2019-01-10 05:39
"Wadda CREEP!" we currently have as "president" of the US!

It is nearing the time to begin impeachment proceedings,
and to thereby to "lose" this colossal jerk before it is too late!
+9 # tedrey 2019-01-10 08:01
Perhaps the Congress should withhold funds from all presidential actions which Congress has never authorized until Mr. Trump gets his act together.
+9 # Kootenay Coyote 2019-01-10 09:55
Trump has found the perfect way to prevent forest fires: cut funding so all the forests burn down: Presto! No more fires! Obvious plan of a Stable Genius…who found his genius on the floor of the stable where the horse had dropped it.
+12 # WorkingClass 2019-01-10 10:05
Trump is a small petty man. This move has nothing to do with forest land management or fire prevention. It has everything to do with California is a Democratic stronghold. Of the 33 million acres of forest land in California the US government, not the state, manages 57%. Is Trump increasing funds to manage those lands? Nope, actually has cut funds for Dept of Interior. I fought wild land fires for six seasons as a young man. President Trump does not have a clue about what it takes to prevent or battle fires. If that was the biggest problem with Trump I could let it pass. However, it appears we have a person in the Oval Office who is unhinged every time something does not go his way and who uses his power to screw anyone he deems an enemy or not sufficiently wowed by his self imagined magnificence.
+7 # EternalTruth 2019-01-10 10:56
Can we impeach the morherfucker yet?
+2 # DongiC 2019-01-10 11:17
Our nutzoid chief executive is going after California in a most sensitive area: aid to homes and property damaged by fire. I imagine the reaction in the golden state will be explosive. Trump who is an expert in every thing is asking for major trouble. CA, no doubt, is leaving no stone unturned in its battle against forest fires and will bitterly contest the president despite his claimed expertise in forest management.
+3 # Anne Frank 2019-01-10 12:01
Is this the best our political system can do? A buffoon, jerk, and fool for our president? At least the mass murderers Clinton and Obomber had style and poise, and their press agents could spell.
+6 # ChrisCurrie 2019-01-10 12:56
This is another of the many examples of how little REAL concern Donald Trump has for actually protecting American lives.

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